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Live: 2014 Australian Open - Women's semi-finals

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Scott Spits

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The focus sharply turns to Thursday night's semi-final.

Aus Open Day 11: (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Aus Open Day 11: Berdych faces tough task against Wawrinka

Tennis writers Peter Hanlon and Linda Pearce preview Day 11 of the Australian Open with Tomas Berdych in his first Australian Open semi-final against Stanislas Wawrinka.

PT4M23S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-318cz 620 349

World No.24 Dominika Cibulkova will play China's Li Na in the Australian Open final after both scored comfortable semi-final victories on Thursday. Li, the fourth seed, looked like winning in record time against Canadian 30th seed Eugenie Bouchard, but failed to maintain the pressure and progressed with a 6-2 6-4 victory.

The 2011 French Open champion is into her fourth grand slam final - and third at Melbourne Park after losing title matches to Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Victoria Azarenka last year, both in three sets. Cibulkova, of Slovakia, belied the seedings in her 6-1, 6-2 defeat of Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska to make her first grand slam final.

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Poll: Who will win the 2014 Australian Open women's final?

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  2. View results
Li Na (China)

78%

Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia)

22%

Total votes: 1484.

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These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

The victorious Dominika Cibulkova is interviewed on court. Were you nervous? "To tell you the truth, I had so many thoughts in my head.

"(But) when I won my serve on 5-2, I knew I was going to do it.

What about your on-court energy? "I was born with it. It's my gift. It's how I play."

"I have no words. I don't know what to say."

And the prospect of beating Chinese veteran Li Na in the final ...

"She is a great player. I was really looking up to her when I was younger playing juniors," Cibulkova says.

Through to the final ... Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

Through to the final ... Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia. Photo: AP

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5), 6-1, 6-2

GAME, SET, MATCH ...
Stunning. Just a destruction on centre court.

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5), 6-1, 5-2

Cibulkova closing in on victory ....

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5), 6-1, 4-1

Something of a turn up .... Radwanska gets one back. She's a loooooong way back, but it was noteworthy none the less.

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5), 6-1, 4-0

ANOTHER BREAK!!!
Don't tell me .... Is Radwanska facing a bagel second set? This match could be over in little more than one hour.

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5), 6-1, 3-0

This is fast becoming a forgettable day for those with centre court tickets. Rapid-fire women's semis.

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5), 6-1, 2-0

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5), 6-1

Game and set ... Cibulkova well on top on centre court. No doubt that Radwanksa looks flat and needs some spark.

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5), 5-1

A regulation service game for Cibulkova. Radwanksa must serve now to avoid obliteration in the first set.

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanksa (5), 4-1

Cibulkova grabs a second break!!! It's a critical juncture in this match. The 20th seed moves closer to wrapping up the first set after a tight tussle so far.

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanksa (5), 3-1

The Slovakian holds after a drawn out service game. She's up the early break and won't relinquish her advantage easily. The points are generally long and hard fought. Both players are running each other around on a warm day in Melbourne.

It's not just about the women's semis at Melbourne Park ... there's still plenty of chatter surrounding the big talking points from Wednesday's men's quarter-finals: Rafa's blistered hand and the 'double bounce' controversy:

Roger Federer admitted he was unsure if he'd won a key point after a double-bounce in his stirring Australian Open quarter-final victory over Andy Murray. An agitated Murray questioned whether Federer had reached the ball before it bounced twice before breaking the Scot to claim a 5-4 advantage in the third set and an opportunity to serve out the match on Wednesday night.

Television replays proved inconclusive, with former world No.1s Jim Courier and Lleyton Hewitt initially both unsure. But after taking several more looks, Courier said it was "60-40 that it hit the ground first" - and 70 per cent of TV viewers on a Channel Seven poll agreed when the fans were initially asked to vote.

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Talking point: did the ball bounce twice?

Talking point: did the ball bounce twice? Photo: Channel Seven

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanksa (5), 2-1

The world No.5 is on the board but is still down an early break. A reminder: the winner will meet China's Li Na in Saturday night's final.

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5), 2-0

An early break of serve to Cibulkova .... crowd on centre court readying themselves for a tight tussle.

Dominika Cibulkova (20) v Agnieszka Radwanska (5)

The second women's semi-final is about to start. This makes for a great match-up ... two players who've been thereabouts in the final rounds of big tournaments go head-to-head.

Poll: Who will win Friday night's Australian Open semi-final?

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  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Rafael Nadal

39%

Roger Federer

61%

Total votes: 7353.

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These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 4-6

GAME, SET, MATCH ...
A terrific point on match point sees China's Li Na reach another Australian Open final. 'Genie' fought to the end and when her shot clipped the net cord it bounced up for Li Na to put the ball into the open court.

The tournament has openly branded itself as the 'Asia-Pacific' grand slam so organisers will again be loving this outcome.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 4-5 (30-40)

MATCH POINT ...
here we go

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 4-5

Well, well, well ... The young Canadian stays in the match. But Li Na is still just one game away from winning in straight sets.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 3-5

A hold of serve ... that's a rarity! Huge danger now for Genie as her opponent threatens to close out the match.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 3-4

Topsy-turvy tennis. China's Li Na again edges ahead in the second set.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 3-3

And the Canadian breaks back .... A fascinating set this one.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 2-3

BREAK!!!
A big advantage to the Chinese veteran. Already up a set, she can hold here and edge closer to another final down under.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 2-2 (0-40)

Three break points .... danger signs are flashing now for Bouchard. Li Na has been steady throughout while her younger opponent has fluctuated.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 2-2

Li Na holds ... but not before a struggle. The Canadian is stepping up the pressure but needs to break again and then consolidate on serve.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 2-1

BREAK BACK ...
Games back on serve after 'Genie' stole the momentum at the start of the second set. A really big test now for the Canadian so that she doesn't drop her head.

We're still digesting the ramifications of Wednesday's quarter-finals ... especially Rafa and Roger's contrasting victories to set up a much-awaited semi final showdown on Friday night.

Rafael Nadal says he needs to quickly improve his misfiring serve - hampered by a large blister on his left hand - or face defeat in the Australian Open semi-finals. Nadal got home 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 against Grigor Dimitrov in the last eight and will now play Roger Federer for a place in Sunday's final.

But the world number one's serve, compromised by an ugly-looking blister in the palm of his left hand, was vulnerable and he gave up seven double-faults, including two of them on break points. The inconvenience threatens to derail Nadal's hopes of a second Australian title following his triumph in 2009 and his 14th Grand Slam crown overall.

"I suffered a lot," Nadal said of his blistered hand.

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Sore: Rafael Nadal receives treatment for his injured hand.

Sore: Rafael Nadal receives treatment for his injured hand. Photo: Getty Images

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 2-0

BREAK!!!!
Well, the young Canadian has well and truly settled now. After a marathon 10-minute game she break's the Chinese's serve. A notable swing in momentum has happened - not entirely in one direction but back to level pegging.

Eugenie Bouchard's 'adopted' supporter group.

Eugenie Bouchard's 'adopted' supporter group. Photo: AFP

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 1-0 (deuce 3)

Li Na sprays a forehand wide on game point .... This is shaping as a critical game. Bouchard threatening to break early in the second set and get right back into the match.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6, 1-0

Now that the first set is given up, Eugenie Bouchard can readjust. The teen holds serve - and not without some pressure from her experienced opponent.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-6

Game & Set .... The Chinese veteran capitalises on her early dominance of the opening set to close it out.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-5, deuce

Pressure now on Li Na's serve as Bouchard fights back ... 

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 2-5

And now Eugenie holds serve .... Finally she has settled. How often do you see this ... a newcomer to this pointy end of the tournament slips up under the pressure. Let's hope she's settled for good.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 1-5

'Genie' finally settles and breaks her opponent's serve!!!! This set is gone however.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 0-5

'Genie' drops serve for a third game ... dire straits. The teenager didn't win a point and has only won a handful for the match.

Perhaps 'Genie' has been thrown by the good will messages from a certain Justin Bieber ....

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 0-4

Li Na holds ... she already has the double break. This set is GOOONNEEEEE. 'Genie' must settle. Very quickly.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 0-3

Sizzling start by the Chinese veteran.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 0-2

Li Na with the early running. Definitely a nervous start for the youngster.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 0-1, 30-40

Li Na starts beautifully, putting early pressure on her younger opponent.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4), 0-1, 15-15

Terrific point. The young Canadian is forced into a running forehand winner. The crowd gives her generous applause.

Eugenie Bouchard v Li Na, 0-1

Veteran campaigner Li Na holds serve in the opening game.

Eugenie Bouchard (30) v Li Na (4)

Centre court bathed in glorious sunlight for the first of the women's semi-finals.

The phenomenon of 'court-siding' has reared its head at this Australian Open. For the latest on the court appearance of a man arrested in Australia for courtside gambling, click HERE.

Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard has been the bolter of the women's tournament. Such has been her rise to fame, her agent believes the new golden girl of tennis can surpass Maria Sharapova as arguably the most marketable female athlete on the planet. The 19-year-old Canadian has turned heads during her Australian Open campaign, winning the hearts of the public and respect from the tennis fraternity in an inspiring run to the grand slam's semi-finals. Her agent Sam Duvall, who has worked with Bouchard since she was 13, believes the teenager has the potential to become the face of the sport. ''Marketability-wise, I think she can be the most famous tennis player in the world,'' Duvall said.

Read MORE

It's officially the pointy end of the tournament. The women's semi-finals highlight the day session on Rod Laver Arena. First up young glamour girl Eugenie Bouchard meets China's Li Na with the winner of that clash to take on either Agnieszka Radwanksa or Dominika Cibulkova in Saturday night's final.

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  • Really thrilled for Ironman Stan. Great match against the Berdman - both would have been worthy winners. Dont know who to barrack for now between Rafa and FedEx. Love them both. Just over the moon that Djokovic is out and on a plane somewhere. Perhaps joker, shreekapova, yellerenka and cheetrena can all meet up somewhere and sulk together. Wherever it is, it wont be in silence. Pity.

    Commenter
    Yarragal
    Location
    Date and time
    January 24, 2014, 8:38AM
  • I like Cibulkova's outfit, navy blue with a big white V. You don't see that much more on any sort of sporting arena in Victoria these days.

    Commenter
    Ted
    Location
    Footscray
    Date and time
    January 23, 2014, 4:13PM
  • Please,please can we have less of Bruce McAvaney's inane babble all through the matches? Sometimes his observations are so meaningless the other commentators don't even bother to answer him. He talks all through the points. We don't need all the silence filled with your voice Bruce. Please keep quiet for a while.

    Commenter
    cb
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    January 23, 2014, 3:45PM
    • Bruce is the AFL's representative on the commentary team.

      Commenter
      Robusto
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      January 23, 2014, 3:55PM
    • Personally spealing, Bruce would not be missed if his voiced never graced any airwaves again.

      Commenter
      glenn2145
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      January 23, 2014, 4:54PM
    • OH MY GOD - he is driving me INSANE. I cannot stand anymore Bruce. He states stat after stat and then finishes it with a question to his fellow commentator...ie: "Rafa won four out of 5 semi-finals last year in ATP tournaments...didn't he?" please Bruce, stick to footy.

      Commenter
      CH
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      January 23, 2014, 5:58PM
    • Couldnt agree more about Bruce but he has always been the same with every sporting event he commentates on. Pity poor Jim Courier having to listen to the mind numbingly boring endleess stream of inane prattle. They must be paying him a shed load. At least Jim and Lleyton know their business. Time for Bruce to just stick to the footy or retire. Way past the best before date.

      Commenter
      Yarragal
      Location
      Date and time
      January 24, 2014, 8:26AM
  • So where's the article in today's press saying Genie could be better than Sharapvoa? Well at least she lasted a bit longer.......

    Commenter
    Dexxxter
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    January 23, 2014, 3:17PM
    • The article did not say that she would be better than Sharapova. Her agent said that eventually she would be "As Marketable" as Sharapova.

      Big difference, and only time will tell.

      Commenter
      Office Rabbit
      Location
      Date and time
      January 23, 2014, 4:52PM
  • The backhand winners seem to be really good. Were there a lot of them?

    This is a knobbly part of the game.

    Lots of moving around - not too much baseline stuff ...

    Commenter
    Bronwyn G
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2014, 2:51PM
  • The first set of Li and Bouchard was really good.

    I notice that Bouchard uses challenges very well - she knows where she is hitting and the lines of the court.

    Heard also that Li had made a few unforced errors.

    Think Bouchard might get up on the second set.

    PS: Where is Cibulkova's flag?

    Commenter
    Bronwyn G
    Location
    Date and time
    January 23, 2014, 2:12PM
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